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Decision on market complex draws flak from CPI

Staff Reporter

Left party dubs the move to hand over work to a private agency “hasty”

— Photo: T. Singaravelou

IN Trouble: The site for the proposed market complex on East Coast Road in Puducherry.

PUDUCHERRY: The Oulgaret Municipality’s decision to construct a modern shopping complex at a cost of Rs.58.65 crore on a build-operate-transfer basis appears to have run into rough weather with the Communist Party of India dubbing the move to hand over the work to a private agency “hasty”.

At an emergency meeting of the Municipal Council on August 24, as many as 21 resolutions, including the market complex at Pakkamudiyanpet on the East Coast Road, were passed.

As per the proposal, the site, five acres of a temple land acquired by the Government about a few years ago, to shift the Periyakadi market, will be given to a private agency to construct the complex.

The decision to hand over the project to the contractor, without having any debate in the council, drew criticism from four councillors belonging to the CPI. They had protested against the move at the council meeting and staged a walk out.

Councillor Sekar, who represents Brindhavanam Ward, said they were informed about the meeting only a day before. As a routine practice, the agenda for the council meeting should have been conveyed to the councillors at least two days in advance. At this particular meeting, the agenda was circulated just minutes before the council met, he said.

“What was the necessity for such an urgent meeting, especially when a decision pertaining to a major project was a subject” he asked.

The CPI would oppose the decision to hand over construction of the complex to a private builder at every forum. The original plan was to construct the complex using Government funds, he noted.

He urged the authorities to withdraw the decision and to have a full-fledged discussion on the issue.

CPI councillor of Vinobha Nagar K. Sudha said the project could bring revenue to the municipality if it was constructed by the Government.

However, Local Administration Director E. Vallavan said the project had been agreed in principle only. “There are many other formalities to be completed before even choosing the private agency,” he noted.

The resolution passed by the council said that a committee would be formed to set the norms before it was allotted to the builder.

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